6 Helpful Hacks for Eating Less Sugar
If you’re looking for ways to lose weight as quickly and simply as possible, then it may be far easier than you think. Sometimes, making a huge change to your body involves making one very small change to your diet. In this case, we’re talking about cutting out the white stuff – sugar.
Chances are that the latest news stories and worrying reports have pushed you to cut down on your sugar habits already. Even ditching sugar from your morning coffee can be enough to help you lose several pounds over the course of a year. However, even if you think you’ve made a pretty big step, remember that you could be still stocking up on too much sugar if you fail to notice where it’s hidden in your everyday food.
Fortunately, there’s some good news coming – it’s easy to cut down the calories if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. For instance, swapping out your cereal for porridge with a handful of berries can cut your sugar intake by more than 30%. Following are some of the best hacks for cutting your sugar levels.
1. Go Au Natural
If you want to satisfy that sweet urge, opt for something natural – choosing fruits, over honey, and corn syrup. Those added sweeteners have no nutritional value whatsoever, and plenty of empty calories, mean they’re packing on the pounds without giving you any real benefits. Fill up on fresh vegetables and fruit instead, because they’ll be full of fiber to help slow the rate at which your body absorbs carbohydrates, while lowering your cholesterol levels and improving digestion.
2. Learn the Lingo
The food label you read when picking up your meals doesn’t necessarily differentiate between natural and added sugars – although this may change one day in the future (though it is pretty simple what is healthy for you and not on most products and reading the labels). To get sugar sources that are perfectly natural, check your ingredient list and search for hidden terms that are meant to trick you into thinking your products are healthier than they are. Look for words like “fruit juice concentrate”, “molasses”, “syrup”, and any words that end in “ose”, such as lactose, fructose, glucose, and so on.
You have to increase your vernacular to be exceptional or better than just most people if you want to buy healthier foods and drinks.
3. Dump Sweetened Drinks
About 40% of the extra sugar within an average American’s diet comes from sugary drinks like sweet tea, soda, lemonade, and fruit punch. A single 12-ounce can of regular soda contains around 140 calories, all taken from added sugar, which is one of the main reasons why the American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of added sugar to less than 100 calories per day for women, and 150 for men.
Replace sweetened drinks with old-fashioned water spruced up with healthy flavors like slices of lemon and lime, or crushed mint and cucumber. Or just drink plain water. Does that ever get old? Making homemade ice tea will always work as well.
4. Trade Sugary Foods for Healthier Options
Instead of using strawberry jam the next time you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try crushing some warmed-up frozen strawberries. This will help cut out plenty of sugar, while still giving you the flavor combo you’ve been looking for. If you need a touch of extra flavor, try sprinkling a seasoning of ginger or cinnamon onto your porridge or other foods. You’d be surprised how many alternatives there are to standard sugary foods.
Yes, that could be more expensive and time consuming. How about a peanut butter and honey sandwich? How about just less jam and more peanut butter for that peanut butter and jelly sanwich?
5. Understand Portions
You’re obviously going to have a better chance of cutting down on sugary foods if you know exactly how much you should be eating each day. Following the right diet means disciplining yourself to sticking to a certain amount of sweet treats every day. For example, consider the fact that you should be eating about 2 cups of fruits and vegetables every day. On average, one cup of fruit will contain about 15 grams of sugar, so if you space out your fruit intake, you’ll also be able to manage your sweet tooth too!
Speaking of teeth, do not forget to brush 2-3 times a day as well. On top of that, if you are eating less sugar you do not have to brush as long as often. If you cannot control your sweet tooth, perhaps you want to brush your teeth four times a day or have a carrot or an apple in the middle of the day since that is a healthy snack and both of those items offer natural teeth cleaning solutions.
6. Know When to Say No (and Yes)
Cutting sugar out of your life completely is an incredibly difficult challenge to take on, so don’t force yourself to go cold-turkey straight away. Cut down slowly on your favorite sugary vices, and know when to indulge a little bit in order to ensure you don’t binge later on. For example, if you usually drink five cans of soda a week, cut down to two, and space them evenly throughout the week. Soon, you’ll be able to lower the amount and not have to suffer so much in the process. Soda is terrible for you – on par with smoking a cigarette.
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About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.